Boiler breakdowns during cold weather events in Britain
Is Britain’s increasing erratic weather driving an increase in boiler breakdowns? We’ve taken a look at our emergency callout data over the past couple of years, as we were interested to see the exact numbers associated with the unusual cold weather events seen in the months of February, March and April. Here’s what we found out…
Boiler breakdowns: what we discovered
When we crunched the numbers, we found a dramatic increase of up to 278% in emergency boiler repair callouts during cold and snowy weather events in 2018 and 2019. This increase was at its peak during the ‘Beast from the East’ hit.
The cold wave which affected Great Britain and Ireland was dubbed the Beast from the East by the media, although it was officially named Anticyclone Hartmut. It brought widespread unusually low temperatures and snowfall to large areas. It began on February 22nd 2018 continued to March 4th 2018, which is why it was such a notable weather event.
Then this year (2019), there was a blanket of snow in March and April which also resulted in an increase in the number of emergency callouts. Between April 1st and 5th, there was a 71% rise in callouts. London saw the largest increases in emergency callouts during cold periods, followed by Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh and then Manchester.
How to prepare for cold weather events
We find that more and more people are turning off their boilers for long periods of time when the weather is warm or mild, and then suddenly cranking them up to high when these unexpected cold weather events hit.
The problem is, the cold weather already means heavier boiler use and the potential for frozen condensate pipes, so putting the heat on full blast after lots of inactivity puts sudden added pressure on systems components, making a breakdown more likely to occur.
We always suggest that boilers should be turned on low when a cold weather event is forecasted to occur, even if there are milder temperatures in the run up to it occurring. This reduces strain on the boiler, which is what you will want to avoid.
Luckily, there are some simple tips like this that you can take on board to reduce the potential of a boiler breakdown occurring in your home when the erratic weather next brings a heap of snow or noticeably colder temperatures.
We’ve included these in the infographic below, but we’re always on hand for boiler help and advice if you need it.
Our top tips for keeping your boiler running